Welcome to Tuesday, where Europe faces an AstraZeneca panic, North Korea has its first words for Joe Biden and movie theaters reopen in Hollywood. We also explore the world of "biomimicry," where new technologies are created in the image of nature.
• AstraZeneca suspended across Europe: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and other European countries suspend the anti-COVID vaccine after a small handful of reports that AstraZeneca caused blood clots. The WHO, which continues to recommend its use, is scheduled to meet with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) today. Meanwhile, China will issue travel visas to foreigners who get their homegrown vaccine.
• Mozambique insurgency crisis: International aid group Save the Children sounds alarm on humanitarian crisis following reports that children as young as 11 are being beheaded by jihadist insurgency.
• Australia #March4Justice protests: Tens of thousands of people in 47 locations across Australia take to the streets to protest sexual violence and gender discrimination in the workplace.
• New discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls: Israeli archaeologists say they've discovered dozens of new Dead Sea Scroll fragments bearing a biblical text dating nearly 1,900 years ago.
• Bond villain dead: Yaphet Kotto, the actor, best known for his role as the evil Dr. Kananga in the 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die, has died at the age of 81.
• Tinder background checks: The popular dating app has announced plans to offer in-app background checks, beginning in the U.S.
• France to return Nazi era art: After being "sold" by an Austrian Jewish woman more than 80 years ago, France will return a painting by artist Gustav Klimt to his heirs.
Italian daily La Sicilia devotes its front page to the AstraZeneca vaccine chaos in Europe, where more and more countries, including France and Germany, are suspending the use of the jab over blood clot fears.
Biomimicry: learning from nature to create new technology
Can nature save capitalism? Biomimicry is the process by which researchers can calibrate production models to nature, and thus continue to drive economic growth while respecting the environment, writes Eric Le Boucher in Paris-based daily Les Echos.
The silk spun by a spider is 10 times stronger than Kevlar, yet fantastically stretchy. A lotus leaf is designed for rain and dirt to slide off so that photosynthesis can take place. The Morpho butterfly absorbs the sun's rays, and the bear hibernates without losing muscle. These natural wonders so long overlooked by humankind are now being closely observed by a wide range of scientists, engineers, doctors and investors.
The concept of taking inspiration from nature, "bio-inspiration," has been around a while: The inventor of airplanes took inspiration from the wings and aerodynamics of birds. This view of the relationship between science and nature has led to a discipline called "biomimicry," which is paving the way for a unique source of simple and effective progress. Biomimicry will help address the necessities of the 21st century, along with genetics, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and nuclear fusion.
While we are only in the infancy of the discipline, we already know that it has a tremendous future ahead of it. It ultimately can allow us to reconcile technology and ecology. Ecology without technology fails, and technology that does not respect the planet will end up destroying it. We need to adopt this approach "at the crossroads of science, ecology and philosophy," says Alain Renaudin, president of the NewCorp Conseil innovation agency.
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After machete attack, policeman saves own hand by grabbing it
Even with his blood pouring out, Jorge Eduardo Yaso exhibited serious sang-froid.
The Colombian policeman had intervened to break up a brawl earlier this month in San Cristóbal, just south of Bogotá, when his lower right arm and his right hand was severed with a machete. In spite of the "stress' of the situation, Yaso told newscaster Noticias Caracol this past weekend he had the wherewithal to use his left hand to pick up his right hand and take it with him as he was rushed to the Police Central Hospital.
After a nine-hour surgery, he is expected to recover "most" of this arm and hand mobility within a few months. The surgeon, Dr. Hernando Laverde, told Noticias Caracol that the fact that the cut was to his arm, rather than a wrist with multiple nerves, helped facilitate the successful surgery.
Yazo added that the machete hand was cut off as he raised his arms to protect himself when a man attacked him with a machete. Bogotá police (with all hands on deck) are seeking information to lead to the capture of the culprit.
➡️ Keep up with all the planet's police reports and plot twists on Worldcrunch.com
Our cities are sinking! A study from the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain found that more than 200 regions in 34 countries around the world are threatened by dangerous ground "subsidence," or sinking, partly because too much pumping out of groundwater creates cavities underground. The northern part of Bandung has sunk 2.5 meters in the past 10 years (25 cm each year), forcing large parts of the Indonesian city to relocate in the coming years.
If the United States wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.
— Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim-Jong un, was quoted with a not-so-subtle threat in the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper directed at the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden. It was Pyongyang's first official remark since Biden was sworn in, and follows the recent announcement that the U.S. would go forward with joint military exercises with South Korea.
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